What does it take to become a top-notch scientist? An inside look into the heart of scientific research, and three colorful PhD candidates vying to discover the mechanism of a protein that may help in the fight against diabetes and obesity. Mixing humor and heartbreak, the critically acclaimed documentary delves into the lab of charismatic professor Dr. Lawrence Shapiro, and follows three irrepressible graduate students on their determined pursuit of a PhD and scientific success. As if the pressure of scientific discovery isn’t enough, the students are also competing in a worldwide race to be the first to publish their findings. Their challenge: to decipher the structure and mechanism of AMPK, a tiny protein that controls the burning and storage of fat. Their road to success: years of trial and error, unflinching dedication, rock-climbing, rumors of pickle juice, and the music of The Flaming Lips.
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